In India, as per the Labour Law, if you are fully employed, you cannot have your own business or even work elsewhere. Most private organizations also have policies that prohibit moonlighting and take strict action against employees who are taking up outside second jobs.
According to TOI report, C N Ashwath Narayan – Karnataka‘s minister for IT, electronics & expertise improvement – has stated that paid freelancing post workplace work hours is “literally cheating” and professionals wanting to try this should shift out of the state.
“As a policy and ethically, how can moonlighting be allowed? It is not fair in any way to moonlighting. That’s not the way forward… It is literally cheating,” C N Ashwath Narayan added.
C N Ashwath Narayan further said, “How can you perform? Is he a superman or what?… Does he not have a family? There is no space here (for moonlighting). If there is so much demand for you, work elsewhere. This is a basic thing.”
“When they have the power, why should they come to us? They are dealing with it in their ways”, he added.
This step is assurance for many IT companies as the state is the headquarters of India’s IT firms such as Infosys and Wipro.
Recently, Infosys fired a few employees in recent months for moonlighting. However, the exact numbers were not mentioned.
CEO Salil Parekh said, “If we have found employees doing work in two different companies, where there are confidentiality issues, we have let them go in the last 12 months.”
However, Parekh also said that Infosys is looking at developing comprehensive policies to support employees to take up external gig opportunities. “For gig opportunities in the external environment, we support the aspirations of our employees to learn beyond work.”
Earlier, Wipro laid off 300 employees who were found working with its competitor companies at the same time employment with Wipro.
Commenting on Moonlighting, Milind Lakkad, Global Head HR, TCS said, “Moonlighting is an ethical issue and it’s against the company’s core values as well as culture.”
“Moonlighting we believe is an ethical issue and it’s against our TCS core values and culture in general. I’m not talking about the IT industry as a whole, I’m talking about TCS perspective. We have been communicating this to employees,” Lakkad added.
Earlier, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji also described moonlighting as “cheating plain and simple.” However, there have been a few companies such as Swiggy and Tech Mahindra that have come out in the favour of moonlighting.